State of the Portal Market 2007: Portals and the Power of Participation

A Synthesis of New Original Survey Results and Recent Analyst Research on the Portal Market


On May 25 2007, BEA completed its annual review of the enterprise portal market. This entailed a survey of over 540 BEA customers who have deployed portals using software from BEA. This paper summarizes the results of that survey along with hundreds of analyst reports and industry articles on portal and allied markets in the past year, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of real-world deployment practices, trends, and ROI anecdotes for portal technologies. The key findings are:

Market: The enterprise portal market continues to grow over 9 percent annually, with an estimated $1.4 billion in annual sales by 2011. CIO surveys confirm that portals are a key spending priority for the sixth consecutive year.

Audience expansion: Despite efforts to consolidate, the number of portals deployed in an enterprise is expanding. This expansion is not necessarily due to technical limitations of software but to the increasing number of audiences being supported by portals, and by the improved flexibility of portal technology as a framework to speed application development and deployment. The recognition by companies of the revenue-generating opportunities provided by inter-company collaboration has spurred the growth of extranet portals for use by partners and customers. The unique business and security requirements of extranet portals are often better satisfied by using a separate extranet-specific portal deployment rather than the same portal used for the intranet.

Business and IT agility—BPM and SOA: The increased adoption of business process management (BPM) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiatives are both driving portal usage. Studies show that BPM and SOA together provide greater benefits than either provide when implemented separately, and that portals are the best vehicles to promote both BPM and SOA initiatives to end users. This is because portals already utilize many SOA principles and can deliver and manage premium interaction and contextual experiences. As a result, companies that are looking to deploy BPM and SOA typically pair these projects with portal deployments to handle the management and development of composite applications.

Business participation—Web 2.0 and the new enterprise: After witnessing the revolutionary impact of Web 2.0 companies on the consumer Web, leading-edge companies are embracing those principles for use in the enterprise. These companies are empowering end-users with greater control and flexibility over how information in an enterprise is used and shared. The effect is a more active user community and improved collaboration and sharing of enterprise knowledge. Portals once again are leading vehicles for implementation of Web 2.0 and enterprise social computing because of the rich user interface and interactive capabilities they offer.

Segmentation:Portal vendors are expanding their offerings to take advantage of BPM, SOA, and Web 2.0. Because of the loosely coupled aspects of those technologies, the leaders in the portal market are those that can be the most open while still offering enterprise-grade capabilities like security, branding, personalization, and search.

Benefits: In addition to the revenue-generating benefits reported by the studies, BEA portal customers report additional benefits ranging from increased employee productivity and efficiency, reduced support and service costs, increased customer loyalty, consolidation of IT infrastructure, and lower operational costs via reduction in paper-based or manual processes.

Deployment costs: For 77 percent of BEA portal customers, the cost of consulting services for deployment or customization of software was less than license costs, demonstrating the portal's value as a rapid, flexible deployment vehicle for a broad range of company initiatives.